MANILA (UPDATE ) - The Philippines confirmed 1,754 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday bringing the country’s total to 459,789.
The Department of Health also reported 8,080 new recoveries as the DOH implemented its weekly “mass recovery” pushing the total number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 429,134.
This meant that the country has a total of 21,708 active cases as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
Thirty six more deaths were reported from the illness, bringing COVID-19’s death toll in the Philippines to 8,947.
Quezon City reported the most new confirmed cases at 163. Rizal province had 104 new cases, while Benguet and Laguna had 83 each, and Bulacan had 61.
The DOH said that of 21,281 tests 1,163 turned out positive for the novel coronavirus, for a positivity rate of 5.5 percent. This was the 4th time in the last 5 days that the daily positivity rate was above the 5 percent prescribed by the World Health Organization. The WHO recommends a positivity rate of less than 5 percent for 14 straight days before easing quarantine restrictions.
The government has said it is eyeing to use 4 COVID-19 vaccines from Russia and China by the first 3 months of 2021, even as the country has yet to receive emergency vaccine use applications for the drug.
The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Covax, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and Moderna are set to arrive in the third quarter, Malacanang has said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the country would have had 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but some officials “dropped the ball.”
Health Secretary Francisco Duque however denied that he had caused a delay in the procurement of the Pfizer vaccine.
Singapore expects to use the Pfizer vaccine before the end of year, while Malaysia said it expects to receive in February the first batch of the Pfizer vaccine.
Duque had also opposed banning travelers from mainland China in January despite the rising number of COVID-19 there. The Health chief said then that denying entry to Chinese visitors may cause problems since China is not the only country with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
The country’s first COVID-19 case was a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has infected over 76 million people and caused nearly 1.68 million deaths since it first emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019 according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The United States remains the most badly affected country with over 17.65 million infections and over 316,000 deaths.
India follows the US with over 10 million infections. Brazil ranks third with over 7.2 million infections but is second in terms of deaths with over 186,000 COVID-19 fatalities.